Sea Shepherd slams U.S. court order to stay away from Japanese whalers
Environmental group Sea Shepherd vowed Tuesday to fight a U.S. court order to stay at least 500 yards away from Japanese whaling ships.
The injunction was ordered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in the latest step in a legal battle between the anti-whaling group and Japanese authorities over vessels in the Southern Ocean.
It said Sea Shepherd and Canadian militant conservationist Paul Watson, who is wanted by Interpol, “are enjoined from physically attacking any vessel engaged by plaintiffs,” including Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research.
In addition, they are banned from “navigating in a manner that is likely to endanger the safe navigation of any such vessel,” said the order.
“In no event shall defendants approach plaintiffs any closer than 500 yards when defendants are navigating on the open sea,” it added. The joint plaintiffs are Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd, Tomoyuki Ogawa and Toshiyuki Miura.
In a statement, the Institute of Cetacean Research and Kyodo Senpaku said they “welcome” the injunction, which remains in force until the U.S. court issues its opinion on the currently pending appeal.